One of 3 Blu-Rays I picked up in Paris last week, Phantom of the Paradise has been given a very impressive hi-def makeover for its French release (Region-free by the way). Brian de Palma's 1974 film looks absolutely superb, transferred from a clean, spotless print, full of eye-popping detail (you can spot Cheryl Smith of Lemora fame bedding down with Swan in one scene) and gorgeous color - Larry Pizer's gaudy cinematography positively radiates off the screen. Film grain is present but not excessive and there is only one instance where the picture looks anything less than stellar - the scene where Swan gives his press conference at the airport looks a little soft, but I would guess this is how it always looked. The audio is extremely robust - the opening sequence of the Juicy Fruits rockin' out is wonderful. Turn this baby up !
The extras** on the Blu have been carried over from the previous French DVD, the best of which is Paradise Regained, the excellent and meaty 50-min documentary about the film, which gathers together all the principle cast and crew including a very proud Brian De Palma. I won't spoil all the surprises but some interesting factoids gleamed from the doc - the film originally began life as The Phantom of the Fillmore, Taxi Driver's Peter Boyle was originally considered to play Beef, and Led Zeppelin had de Palma optically replace all references to Swan's record label Swan Song, which was Zep's own label !
The film itself can be viewed without the French subtitles, but the French subs are forced for the Paradise Regained documentary. The French subs are discreet enough to ignore although actor Gerrit Graham does one of his interview segments in French !
** Edit Thanks to reader Principal Archivist who left this comment regarding the extras on the French Blu:
It's probably fair to warn your North American readers that although the French BluRay is region free, the extra features can only be played on a PAL-compatible BluRay player; most North American BluRay players aren't.
Phantom fans should check out the Principal Archivist's incredible website The Swan Archives for all thing Phantom related...